Almost two years after they announced the release of their Bluetooth Battery that allowed owners to remotely monitor battery life and even disable the battery if it’s stolen, DeWalt is set to release a massive upgrade to their connected tool platform.
The DeWalt Tool Connect smartphone application was also released in conjunction with the Bluetooth battery, but has been upgraded to the Tool Connect Inventory Management System. The system encompasses 3 solutions: the Inventory Manager web portal, an updated Tool Connect mobile app, and connected products, such as the new Tag, tools, connector, and batteries.
Tools are a large expense for any construction company, so it’s important to track and manage your inventory. Inventory Manager is a web based portal that will allow users to track the last seen locations of the tools in the system, as well as what individual was last in charge of the tool. Multiple Tool Connect apps can be connected to the Inventory Manager, so much of the data will be updated automatically.
The Tool Connect Inventory Manager will be available in summer 2017.
Tool Connect Tag, Connector, and Batteries
DeWalt will be offering three different connected products that will effectively “upgrade” any non-connected tool or piece of equipment to a smart, trackable device.
Much like Milwaukee Tool’s TICK tool and equipment tracker, the DeWalt Tag can attach to any piece of equipment or tool using glue, screws, or rivets and can locate a tool within 100 feet of your Bluetooth enabled device through the Tool Connect app. The Tag’s battery can last up to 3 years and the device itself is dust-proof and water-resistant, which is obviously important on any job site.
There are couple things that differentiate the Tag from Milwaukee’s TICK though. The DeWalt Tag has a large button in the center of it, which allows it to connect to a tool, whereas the cover and battery have to be removed to do the same on Milwaukee’s version. The Tag also includes blue LEDs that allow the user to easily locate which tag is being accessed on the phone app.
The Tag (DCE041) will be available in summer 2017 in a single pack ($29), a 4-pack ($79), a 10-pack ($250), and a 25-pack ($500).
For most non-connected tools, there won’t be a great place to install a Tag in order to keep track of its whereabouts. For this purpose, DeWalt will be releasing a connector accessory which permanently attaches to any DeWalt 20V MAX tool between the battery and the tool itself. With it connected, users will be able to disable their tool if it’s lost or stolen using the app. The 4.1 ounce adapter also charges itself when batteries are connected to the tool.
The DeWalt Tool Connect Connector (DCE040) will retail for $39 and also be available in summer 2017.
The Bluetooth Battery is available now and is compatible with 20V MAX tools. For more information, visit our previous post about it by clicking here.
DeWalt has announced an initial line of Tool Connect enabled tools that will connect to the app without the need for additional adapters. Currently, the DeWalt DCL070 20V MAX Bluetooth LED Area Light is the only connected tool available to purchase ($379 on Amazon). When connected to the app, the light’s power, brightness, and schedule can be adjusted from your phone.
5 other tools, in addition to the light, will also be released in the coming months. Those tools include a 20V MAX VR Tool Connect Compact Hammerdrill (DCD797), Compact Drill/Driver (DCD792, Impact Driver (DCF888), Hammerdrill (DCD997), and a Bluetooth Enabled 100 Foot Laser Distance Measure TLM995 (DW099S).
Much like the Milwaukee tools equipped with ONE-KEY, Tool Connect tools will not only be able to be tracked and disabled, but tool settings also be able to be adjusted using your phone. Tool Connect enabled tools will also be able to track specific tool diagnostics, like number of trigger pulls, duration of tool use, and temperature. The Hammerdrill will come equipped with Bind-Up Control, which is a DeWalt exclusive. The Impact Driver will include PrecisionDrive, which stalls the impact driver for one second before impacting.
The Bluetooth Enabled Laser Distance Measure will connect to the app in order to store recent measurements and allow markup of pictures. It will also be able to calculate area and volume, as well as perform addition and subtraction.
As more tool manufacturers continue to jump on the smart tool train, it’s becoming more likely that we’ll continue to see the technology develop, at least for the premium brands. Data and security is increasingly important to business owners and the Internet of Things is bringing data to places it’s never been available before.